The global pandemic has amplified crises such as domestic abuse, limited access to medical care for marginalized communities, and violence against women. In response, global conferences are directing attention towards these pressing issues, advocating for systemic change, and facilitating initiatives and policies that channel commitments into action.
The Incredible Impacts Programme, a joint initiative by the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) and BestCities Global Alliance, is thrilled to honour three associations who have left lasting legacies of social change – not only in the meetings industry, but in communities around the world.
Whether obtaining signatories for a pledge to achieve equal access, creating an accessible global platform to support victims of gender-based violence, or obtaining commitment from world leaders to implement policy changes, the winners of this year’s Incredible Impacts grant have emerged as champions for vulnerable, marginalized and minority communities.
These three associations will each receive a grant of $7,500 (USD) to be used for future projects, in recognition of their excellence in hosting events that are moving the dial on global issues. Their efforts can and should serve as inspiration for event planners who are likewise eager to make a tangible difference. Meetings, after all, have the power to introduce policy, spark dialogue and shift perspectives – and these are key foundations of systemic change.
Lesley Williams, Managing Director of BestCities, said, “Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 Incredible Impacts Programme. They are an inspiration for the entire meetings industry for their passion, fortitude and commitment to ending human rights violations and ensuring every member of our global population is treated equally and fairly. We hope their stories will spark similar determination and creativity in their fellow associations, so we can build on their legacies – and also create new ones.”
Senthil Gopinath, ICCA CEO, also said, “It is wonderful to see that social impact is taking centre stage and I would like to congratulate all three winners of the 2021 Incredible Impacts Programme on their amazing achievements and the well-deserved recognition. Their impact stories are uniquely fitting in with ICCA’s 2021 Congress theme “Forward to our Future”, where we will highlight the topics of inclusivity, gender equality and sustainable development all of which are reflected in each of the three winning submissions. I would like to encourage meetings suppliers and associations alike to embrace these important issues and work together on long-lasting impacts for the future.”
Supported by the Union of International Associations (UIA), the International Association of Professional Congress Organisers (IAPCO) and the Interel Group, the global public affairs and association management consultancy, Headquarters Magazines serve the needs of international associations organising worldwide congresses.